Last month I came across 5 different Blogger blogs, that were copying articles from DTT and publishing (pasting) them without any permission or credit. They were also hotlinking images directly from this blog, which costed me CDN and server bandwidth.
1. To get ranking in Google search results: Google always tries to give higher ranking to a website where a particular content first appeared. If you are using a sitemap, then it plays a very vital role in telling Google bot the exact publishing date and time of the content.
When someone plagiarizes the same content on their site, Google bot either completely ignores them or simply give them low ranking in SERP. But sometimes scraper sites starts ranking higher than the original website in search results.
2. To earn revenue: Scrapers primarily copies content from other websites to increase their site’s database as well as to earn revenue from various advertising programs like AdSense (if they already have an account), Infolinks (quite easy to get approved) etc. They try their level best to monetize the random traffic they get from different types of sources on the web.
3. Just for fun!, as there’s nothing to lose: Scrapers don’t pay for hosting, as they are using Blogger, which is a free platform that hosts all their images and even maintains their database. They even don’t pay for a domain name, as they are quite happy with a sub-domain of blogspot! Overall, they are scraping content without spending a single penny!
How to deal with Plagiarism?
Step 1: Send a Polite Message
You have to look for contact information of administrator in the offending blog. Either there will be a Contact page or there will be links to some social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. If you find any means to contact the administrator, send him a polite message asking him to remove your content from his blog.
In my case, I contacted all the five scrapers and only one of them removed all my articles from his blog. The other four completely ignored my message! If you are unable to find any contact information or social links then you should follow step 2.
Step 2: Contact Google
Contact Google’s Blogger team by using this DMCA form. You are required to fill the form accurately and following guidelines may help you:
Under Contact Information:
- Enter your first and last name.
- If you have a company or represent a company, then enter its name or leave the field empty. You can also write Not Applicable (NA).
- Enter the full legal name of copyright holder whom you represent. If you don’t represent any company or a person, then you should again type your full name.
- Enter your contact email address, where Blogger team can contact you. If content is being copied from xyz.com, then try to enter an email address which ends with @xyz.com.
- Select your country of residence from the drop-down menu.
Under copyrighted work:
- In Where can we see an authorised example of the work? field: Enter the URLs of your domain from where the content has been plagiarized. In case there are multiple URLs, then you should enter one URL per line.
- In Identify and describe the copyrighted work field: Enter a description of your content which proves how the work is uniquely copyrighted to you or the company/person you are representing?
- In Location of allegedly infringing material field: Enter the URL of Blogger blog on which the content from your site is appearing. By default, only one URL field in displayed and you need to click on Add additional, if you want to enter more than one URL.
Under Sworn Statements:
- You need to check the box in front of I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
- You are also required to confirm by checking the box in front of The information in this notification is accurate and I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
- Enter/select the date of signature in MM/DD/YYYY format.
- Sign the form by typing your full name. When you type your full name in the signature field, it acts as a digital signature which legally binds you just like your physical signature. Keep in mind that the first and last name entered in this field should match with the name field present at the top of the form.
Note: When signing the form, Google may also record your IP address.
Click on submit button and your complaint will be submitted to Blogger team for investigation. You may also get an email (with DMCA reference number) that your complaint has been received.
After submitting your DMCA takedown notice, you may have to wait for 2 or 3 weeks for a reply from Google. After reviewing your complaint, if they find the submitted URL to be infringing, then they will take the content offline and will also notify the blog administrator aka offender about your complaint:
This step is more than sufficient to remove infringing content from a Blogger blog, but if the scraper is also using a domain name, then you can send an abuse email to its domain registrar by means of information present in its WHOIS record. You can see an example of WHOIS record containing registrar information here.
Step 3: Send DMCA Report to Advertising Networks
This is a very extreme step, but if the offending blog continues to copy content from your site, then you should send an abuse/DMCA report to all its advertising networks.
If it’s using AdSense, then you can file a DMCA complaint using this link. For other network, you can contact them by using their contact page or abuse email address present on their site.
Advertising agencies never tolerates content scraping sites and will disable their ad serving. They may also terminate the whole account of the offender.
After this you should contact Blogger team again, and this time you should quote the previous DMCA case number. Notify them about copyright infringement for the second time and they may completely remove the offender’s account from their system!
Hope this article doesn’t get copied and helps many Webmasters who are currently dealing with plagiarism. If you have any more tips, then feel free to share them in the comments section below.
- Once the content is removed, it will also be removed from Google search. Other search engines may take few weeks to remove the indexed content/its cached page.
- Your complaint will also be posted on chillingeffects.org and will be publicly visible.
- Your or your company’s name will be publicly visible in Google’s Transparency Report (Example).
- Don’t send false DMCA complaints to Google, as there’s Counter DMCA notice too.